Welcome to Fall 2019! Week of September 4

First, a few housekeeping details:

  • Note that this class doesn’t use Blackboard. Check the course website every week for updates and detailed reading instructions
  • Get copies of the two required course books. You will need them to do the reading assignments for 9/4 and the rest of the semester. Both are on reserve at Lehman’s library. There are a few copies of Dr. Clarke’s book in circulation for borrowing at other CUNY libraries. You can also buy either book directly from the publisher at the list price. See links on the books page.

For Wednesday 9/4:

  • Read Chapters 1 and 2 in Maulana Karenga’s Introduction to Black Studies (pages 1-60).
    • Skim (read quickly and to gain an overview) pp 1-17 on history and development of the discipline.
    • Focus (read carefully and closely) on the following sections: (pp 17-27) 1.3 (Relevance of the Discipline) and 1.4 (Scope of the Discipline) and sections 2.3-2.7 — the different developmental initiatives.
    • Read only pp 39-60 (“Developmental Initiatives”) in chapter 2
    • This book is on reserve at Lehman’s library if yours doesn’t arrive in time.

Reading points/ questions to consider:

  • Underline/highlight key points in the text
  • Use the reading questions at the back of chapters to focus you
  • Try to understand the definitions of the key concepts listed at the back of the chapter
  • Think about how Clarke is defining the field of Africana/Black Studies
  • Note key issues, approaches, and dilemmas/challenges he outlines
  • What is worldview?
  • What’s the importance of worldview to the discipline of Africana Studies?
  • Make a note to ask the instructor to clarify anything you don’t understand

Quick highlights from first class on 8/28:

  • Course Intro & syllabus overview
  • Musical selection: Dizzy Gillespie’s “Swing Low, Sweet Cadillac.”
  • Reading of Dr. Leonard Jeffries Jr’s “The Essence of Black Studies” (handout and also on the Readings page). What’s his view of a Black Studies methodology (i.e. ways to analyze information and do research) and how should it approach the world?
  • First day lecture notes will be on the Lecture Notes page [Update: posted!]
  • Screened first ~25 minutes of the Dr. John Henrik Clarke documentary A Great and Mighty Walk. It’s on YouTube if you want a refresher. (Consider sharing the link with your own intro to it on social media. Think about watching it with family members, your church group, tenants’ association, PTA chapter, etc.)